How to Organize a Halloween Party…

If you’re not on Trick or Treat duty and throwing a monster bash instead, here are some tips on how to organize a Halloween party:

1) Pick a Theme. Will it be monsters, movie characters, celebrities, pirates, or a free for all? Depending on whether you are having a children’s or adult party, will help to determine the theme. If hosting a children’s party, be sure to have plenty of parental supervision. And if you decide ‘costumes required’ party or casual.

2) Invitations. Make a guest list and send out invitations 2 weeks before the party. Choose invitations that will go along with your theme and get creative. You can save time and money and buy invites from your local party supply store or have some fun and make them yourself. Remember to keep it simple and be budget conscious. E-mails are also a fast, easy, and eco-friendly way to send out invites. Be sure to specify details about the party. Indicate if it is an adult, children’s or all ages party. If it is going to be a themed party, make sure to include instructions regarding costumes and if they are required. Don’t forget to include directions to the party, beginning and ending times and any special announcements such as costume contests.

3) Décor. Prepare your decorations 1 week before the party. Buy them from a party store, OR make them yourself. Give your self enough time to decorate. Depending on the complexity of your decorations, begin decorating the day before, or have some guests arrive early the day of to help out. One of my favorite décor pieces this season are the Oversized Paper Jack-O-Lanterns. The set of 3 are perfect for indoors or under the moonlight and collapse down flat so when not in use they can be easily stored.  Additional decoration tricks are throwing some white sheets over furniture to give an abandoned look. Replace regular light bulbs with black lights and red or green bulbs. Fog machines or dry ice in hot water always set a spooky mood. Fake spider webs are inexpensive and go a long way when decorating for Halloween and don’t forget the classic black and orange helium balloons to add instant spirit to your home.

4) Food and Drinks. Decide what type of food you will be providing and if you will provide a buffet table, simple refreshments and finger foods, delivery/take out or a potluck. Drinks will depend whether it is a children’s or adult party. Wine, cocktails, beer or a special Witch’s Brew is always fun! Drinks for the little ones can include fruit punch, soda, juice or a non-alcoholic Witch’s Brew. The perfect ice bucket or party tub can help you’re your drinks ice cold and refreshing the whole night through. And what’s a Halloween party without sweet treats? The dessert table should include cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, pumpkin pie and a bowl of candy. Whether young or old, it’s always a good thank your guests with a goody bag full of treats and party favors

5) Party Games. Depending on the crowd, you may want to plan and organize games for your party that are age appropriate and fun for everyone! Make the games more appealing with door prizes for all the winners.

6) Music. Set the perfect atmosphere with the right music and sounds. Buy or make a soundtrack for your party. Look for creepy and eerie sounds like screams, ghoulish grunts, creaking doors and more! Throw some fun and nostalgia into the mix with some classic Halloween songs like Monster Mash by Bobbie Boris Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers, Thriller by Michael Jackson, the Ghostbusters theme song by Ray Parker Jr., the Twilight Zone theme song by Neil Norman & His Cosmic Orchestra, The Addams Family theme song by Vic Mizzy, The Munsters theme song, Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo and the ever so popular Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack.

7) Clean Up. After the party is over, it’s time to clean up the mess! Have some friends help you out and make sure you have all the essential tools and accessories. Large trash bags (don’t forget to recycle!), large trash can, broom and dust pan, rubber gloves, bucket, caddy, sponges, scrubbers (for the sticky messes), cleaning towels, and an all purpose cleaner.

8) Storage. Store your Halloween decorations in plastic bins, lidded boxes and storage bags to keep them in great shape for next year!

Happy Organizing!